Maureen Bunyan, a 46-year veteran of television news who is a co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation, is being forced out at Washington station WJLA-TV, an ABC affiliate that Sinclair Broadcasting Group acquired in 2013. Bunyan is a 6 p.m. anchor.
The move by Sinclair, disclosed by sources close to Bunyan, comes just three months after the station announced the sudden departure of Leon Harris, a fellow African American anchor who spent 13 years at the station.
Bunyan would not speak on the record. News director Mitch Jacob was not in the newsroom Sunday night and did not respond immediately to an email. The Aruba-born Bunyan, 71, joked as recently as last year that she hoped to become the nation’s “oldest surviving anchorwoman.”
The conservative-leaning Sinclair, based in the Baltimore area, is the nation’s largest owner of TV stations, with 173 in 81 cities nationwide. But it has developed a harrowing reputation among some of its employees.
When the D.C. market’s longtime anchor Gordon Peterson left WJLA in 2014, Paul Farhi reported in the Washington Post that Sinclair “has rapidly made over the station in its more conservative image.”
[Farhi reported Sunday night that Sinclair’s “broad cost-cutting strategy” previously led to terminations of entertainment reporter Arch Campbell, sports anchor Tim Brant and reporter Greta Kreuz, and that “On Friday, in another cutback, the station laid off several behind-the-scenes news producers and photographers.”]
Former employees have written online evaluations such as this from a self-described sales assistant:
“When Sinclair came in and bought our company, things just continued to grow worse. Our best managers either left or were laid off. High turnover rate with little to no replacement — more added work and less flexibility to schedule time-off.
“The work environment is very hostile. Managers tend to play favorites and company morale is at an all-time low. Workplace bullying is also common but it tends to be more passive-aggressive so executives can get away with it. . . .”
Farhi reported last month that Sinclair aided the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign in the Republican’s battle with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“A review of Sinclair’s reporting and internal documents shows a strong tilt toward Trump,” Farhi wrote. “Sinclair gave a disproportionate amount of neutral or favorable coverage to Trump during the campaign while often casting Clinton in an unfavorable light. . . . News stories and features favorable to Trump or that challenged Clinton were distributed to Sinclair stations on a ‘must-run’ basis — that is, the stations were required by managers in Washington to make room in their evening newscasts or morning programs for them. . . .”
Sinclair has touted its partnership with conservative commentator and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams so that Williams can operate television stations, in some cases sharing advertising and sales staff. Williams became one of a handful of African American owners of television stations.
According to a biography for The HistoryMakers, Bunyan worked as a freelance writer for the Milwaukee Journal while at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After attending Columbia Journalism School in 1970, “she worked in broadcasting with Boston’s WGBH-TV and later New York’s WCBS-TV. In 1973, Bunyan became the lead news anchor and reporter at WTOP-TV (now WUSA-TV), the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.
“After working on the Eyewitness News Team, she became a co-anchor with Gordon Peterson and remained in this position until she resigned in 1995,” shocking viewers, the Washington Post’s John Carmody reported at the time.
“Bunyan returned to school to receive her M.A. degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in 1980.
“As a lead news anchor, Bunyan covered major local, national, and international stories, traveling to Central and South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. Bunyan established a reputation as a clear-thinking, clear-spoken, fair-minded and dependable newsperson. From 1997-1999, Bunyan served as the chief correspondent for PBS’ Religions and Ethics Newsweekly.
“In 1999, Bunyan joined WJLA-TV ABC 7 News in Washington D.C. as a primary anchor. Five years later, she was reunited with co-anchor Gordon Peterson for the 6:00pm EST news. . . .”
Holder of several awards for professional accomplishments and community service, Bunyan was inducted in 2014 into the NABJ Hall of Fame. She has remained active in the group in her capacity as co-founder.
- Paul Farhi, Washington Post: Longtime D.C. TV anchor Maureen Bunyan out at WJLA, possibly ending her career
“The news media industries have turned their backs to diversity even as issues of social justice and equity are boiling over in the United States. Through ‘Journal-isms’, Richard Prince has served as the media and diversity watchdog in this country for decades. His watchful eye is needed now, more than ever.”— Jon Funabiki, professor of journalism, San Francisco State University and executive director, Renaissance Journalism. (Credit: JD Lasica/Creative Commons license)Support Journal-isms
Wealth of Questions in “Hate Crime” Torture
January 6, 2017
Preparing to go live at 2:15
Regarding :CPD Arrested and Charged offenders with Hate Crime & other charges. watch live on periscope and FB pic.twitter.com/sowwoxL8c1
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) January 5, 2017
“In Chicago, at least four young black men and women did something truly awful,” Shaun King wrote Thursday for the Daily News in New York. “On a damn Facebook Live video made public Wednesday, they allegedly kidnapped a mentally challenged white man, beat him, humiliated him, cut his hair, and yelled ‘f–k Donald Trump‘ and ‘f–k white people’ while filming it for the world to see. . . .”
Almost every journalist reporting on the case agreed about its “truly awful” nature. There was more to discuss, however. What made this a hate crime? Were media outlets careful enough about not jumping to conclusions? Did they allow false accusations about Black Lives Matter involvement to tarnish their coverage? Is Facebook’s new technology an enabler? How did this crime fit into the “big picture” of today’s culture? How did the journalists react viscerally?
“I just arrived back in America this morning after a week away and just watched the video moments ago,” King’s column continued. “It’s awful. I have deep empathy for the victim. Twenty years ago, a racist mob of young white men beat me so badly that I missed 18 months of high school recovering from three spinal surgeries and fractures to my face and ribs.
“I hate violence. Nearly 100 people are killed with guns per day in this country. Every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in this country. Hate crimes are on the rise from coast to coast. Our incoming President of the United States admitted that he sexually assaults women. Women all over the country came forward to allegedly confirm it. His first wife, in a sworn deposition, said that he raped and brutally assaulted her. Ivana Trump later said she didn’t want the allegation to be considered in a literal or criminal sense.
“This country is sick. . . .”
Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute gave good marks to broadcast outlets. “For news directors in Chicago, the video posed several questions,” Tompkins wrote Thursday. “First, how much of it should they show to the public, if they decided to show it at all? To what extent should the identities of the assailants or the victim be obscured? And in the early hours, how should they treat a video that was published publicly but hadn’t yet been verified by police? . . .”
Tompkins also wrote, “Chicago media have become sadly proficient in using violent video thoughtfully as a result of the Laquan McDonald shooting, where a dash-cam captured a Chicago police officer shooting 16 rounds at the 17-year-old. The video was initially everywhere, but as time passed, stations scaled back its use.
“For all the criticism journalists get for exploiting and sensationalizing awful events, journalists in Chicago are putting a lot of thought into delivering this graphic news responsibly. . . .”
The role of the Facebook Live feature was the subject of a piece by Dylan Byers for CNN Money. “In 2017, Facebook’s role as a disseminator of news will face even more scrutiny,” Byers wrote Thursday.
“On Wednesday, four people in Chicago bound and gagged a man with special needs, then beat and tortured him — and they broadcast the whole thing on Facebook Live, allowing people all over the world to watch in real time.
“The Facebook Live feature, which the company has been promoting in television ads and on billboards as a way to share fun or uplifting videos with friends, was now being used as a means to broadcast torture.
“The video was eventually taken down. ‘We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason,’ a spokesperson told CNNMoney.
“Still, Facebook acknowledges ‘the unique challenges of live video.’ The broadcasts are live, after all, and almost impossible to prevent before they start.
“This presents Facebook with a dilemma: Will it simply show everything, or will it acknowledge the responsibilities that come with being a media company and hire editors who can supervise the content and decide in real time what is important and newsworthy and what must be taken down as inappropriate? . . .”
Black columnists focused on the crime itself and the administration of equal justice.
Mary Mitchell wrote Thursday in the Chicago Sun-Times, “. . . let’s be clear. As ugly as the assault upon the special needs young man was, this incident pales in comparison to what happened in Joliet in 2013.
“Then, an even more depraved group of young white people lured Terrance Rankins and Eric Glover, two African-Americans, into a Joliet house, strangled them and then had sex on top of the corpses.
“Adam Landerman, Alisa Massaro, Joshua Miner and Bethany McKee were each charged with first-degree murder and attempting to dismember the bodies.
“Although the victims were black and the attackers white, a spokesman for the Will County state’s attorney’s office said at the time that prosecutors were unsure whether race was a factor in the murder.
“Where was the outrage then? . . .”
King echoed that theme in the Daily News.
“I speak out on injustice. What happened to this man in Chicago was terrible. It was criminal. I hate it, but guess what — justice was swift. It was miraculously swift,” King wrote.
“Justice is always swift and easy when black folk mess up, but you know who’s not in jail right now? George Zimmerman.
“You know who’s not in jail right now? The officers who fired 41 shots at and killed Amadou Diallo on the doorstep of his Bronx home. . . .” King then added more names to his litany.
In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, Tony Norman wrote that perhaps “hate crime” should be redefined.
“Much of the talk surrounding this case has been consumed with whether the suspects should be charged with a hate crime. They were charged with hate crimes on Thursday. Hate crime charges are a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a lawyer and there may be nuances of the way bias crimes are prosecuted that I’m not aware of, but if you tie someone up, assault them and mock them for their race, it feels like a hate crime to me.
“Then again, some blacks in Chicago appear to be equal-opportunity assaulters as the murder rate of other blacks in that town will attest. In a way, those daily murders are ‘hate crimes,’ too, but they’re not rooted in racial animus per se. They’re rooted in evil, stupidity, pride and gang affiliation. The end result is hateful and certainly [constitutes] a crime. I’m sure there’s a lot of black self-hatred wrapped up in every murder that’s taken place in Chicago in recent years. . . .”
- Justin Baragona, Mediaite: Don Lemon Hits Back at ‘Fake Information’ That He’s ‘Making Excuses’ for Chicago Torture Suspects.
- Lincoln Anthony Blades, Ebony: #BLMKidnapping, Really? Save Your White Tears
- Russell Contreras, Associated Press: Antiwhite hate crime relatively low (Jan. 7)
- Kevin Eck, TVSpy: Former Chicago Top Cop on WFLD to Explain Comments About Chicago PD and Black Lives Matter
- Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times: Facts, not emotions, define a hate crime
- Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Monstrous acts on video
- Ted Gregory, Chicago Tribune: Live video can be a shocking and grim aid in finding justice
- Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press: Year in Opinions: Haven’t we seen enough police shootings? (Dec. 28)
- Kim Janssen, Chicago Tribune: Facebook beating of disabled white teen becomes conservative rallying cry
- Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Our city, one year, 780 murders (Dec. 31)
- Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: The doctor who predicted Chicago’s homicide epidemic (Dec. 30)
- James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Chicago hate crime, Charleston shooting show how evil works, in black and white
- Shari Runner, Chicago Defender: Chicago Urban League’s Shari Runner Calls Out CBS 60 Minutes Segment
- Joe Sexton, ProPublica: Alleged Chicago Assault Reignites Issue of Hate Crimes Against Whites
- Eugene Volokh, Washington Post: What makes a crime a ‘hate crime’? And would the Chicago attack qualify?
“Far rightwing figureheads immediately invented an elaborate and racist conspiracy theory that CNN had lightened a photo of alleged Fort Lauderdale airport shooter Esteban Santiago shortly after the Friday attack,” Ben Collins reported for the Daily Beast.
“In reality, CNN had yet to air a picture of Santiago, let alone lightened a picture of him. The conspiracy also used a picture of an entirely different man named Esteban Santiago — not the alleged shooter.
“Still, writers at websites like InfoWars and Gateway Pundit tweeted about CNN’s nonexistent Photoshop job. Former Republican Florida Congressman Allen West, who represented Fort Lauderdale itself, even tweeted about the conspiracy and linked to an article about it on his own website.
“ ‘Why is CNN attempting to make the shooter look more white? Bizarre,’ reads InfoWars editor Paul Joseph Watson’s tweet, which had 3,500 retweets at press time. . . .”
Herbert Lowe, a professional in residence at Marquette University in Milwaukee and a past president of the National Association of Black Journalists, and his wife, Mira, a senior editor at CNN Digital in Atlanta who is also active in NABJ, are leaving their respective jobs to work in the same place.
“Alas, my wife Mira and I have only lived and worked in the same city for 10 months since we left Newsday in New York, as an editor and reporter, respectively, just about 10 years ago,” Herbert Lowe wrote Friday on medium.com. “Honestly, those 10 months (in 2009) were when I wasn’t employed full-time. So, with that in mind, we are pleased to share that we have accepted positions with the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (CJC) in Gainesville. . . .”
The school announced that “journalism stalwart and veteran educator Mira Lowe has been named the new director of the Innovation News Center (INC), the College’s award-winning multimedia newsroom.
“Lowe, a senior editor at CNN Digital in Atlanta, will lead a team of seven news professionals and more than 500 student journalists each year to provide local news coverage for 17 North Central Florida counties. The 100-seat INC is one of the largest student newsrooms in the country — developing and distributing news, weather and sports content across the College’s owned-and-operated television, radio and digital properties, including the local PBS, NPR and ESPN affiliates. The INC director serves as both executive editor and news director. . . . ”
It also said, “Herbert Lowe will join the College as a lecturer in journalism and director of its Summer Media Institute. . . .
“As a lecturer, Lowe will teach a range of digital journalism and other courses on the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Summer Media Institute is an annual five-night, six-day camp in which students are immersed into the world of journalism and communications. . . .”
Mira Lowe starts on Jan. 27; Herbert Lowe begins this summer. They met in 1997 at the New York Association of Black Journalists annual dinner.
The Atlantic magazine announced Friday that it is reprinting its January/February issue, with the cover story “My President Was Black” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. But the reprint will contain an error that Native Americans say is all too common.
In his 17,000-word piece, Coates wrote, “African Americans rank at the bottom of nearly every major socioeconomic measure in the country.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that dubious distinction belongs to Native Americans.
For example, the 2015 American Community Survey shows that:
- The percentage of those enrolled in preschool or nursery school who are “African American or black (alone)” is 6.1 percent; for American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 5.7 percent.
- For those in college or graduate school, the figures are “African American or black (alone),” 28.3 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 21.4 percent.
- For those with less than a high school diploma, African American or black, 15.3 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 20.9 percent.
- Graduate or professional degree, African American or black, 7.5 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 4.8 percent.
- Grandparents responsible for grandchildren as a percentage of living with grandchildren, African American or black, 42.4 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 50.5 percent.
- Not in labor force: African American or black, 38 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 41.9 percent.
- No health insurance coverage: African American or black, 11 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 20.7 percent.
- Poverty rates for families and people for whom poverty status is determined: Identical for both groups at 21.6 percent for “all families.”
- Those with a computer: African American or black, 80.2 percent; American Indian or Alaska Native, 76.5 percent.
Bryan Pollard, Cherokee, president of the Native American Journalists Association, told Journal-isms by telephone Friday that the omission of Native Americans in such statements is “fairly common.
“With all due respect to Mr. Coates, I would suggest that he make an appointment to visit an Indian reservation. The level of profound poverty found on so many Indian reservations is difficult to comprehend in the midst of the world’s most affluent nation.”
The invisibility of Native Americans is not new. Indians have complained that police violence against members of their communities does not receive its fair share of coverage.
Last year, when a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, media outlets quickly dubbed it “the worst mass shooting in U.S. history,” ignoring earlier mass shootings of African Americans and Native Americans. On Dec. 29, 1890, for example, as many as 300 Lakota men, women and children were slaughtered by the 7th Cavalry at Wounded Knee. (Tim Giago, founder of the Native American Journalists Association, is raising money for a “Holocaust Memorial” there.)
The Atlantic is reprinting its second magazine issue in six months, both due to high newsstand sales and record December subscriptions to The Atlantic, the publication said in a news release. “Last summer, The Atlantic made the then-unprecedented step to put the July/August issue of the magazine back on press to meet newsstand demand.”
“The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde has joined an increasing number of other Native American Tribes nationwide in adopting an Independent Press Ordinance that will codify that the Tribal news publication has the independence to report Grand Ronde news objectively and free from undue political influence by Tribal elected officials,” the Native American Journalists Association announced Thursday from Grand Ronde, Ore.
The news is significant because “a free press is the exception and not the rule” in Indian Country, NAJA President Bryan Pollard, Cherokee, told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday. The association applauded the tribal government for “putting these protections in place so they can practice [journalism] free from fear of retaliation,” Pollard said.
Reporting on the Dec. 28 decision, Smoke Signals, the tribal publication, said, “The new ordinance establishes a free and independent press and ensures Smoke Signals has the independence to report Tribal news objectively.
“The new ordinance will establish an Editorial Board, which will supervise the editor of Smoke Signals. Currently, the Tribe’s Publications Coordinator reports to the Tribal Council Chief of Staff, who is a direct report to Tribal Council.
“The Editorial Board, according to the ordinance, will consist of between three to five members with a majority being Grand Ronde Tribal members. Current Tribal employees are allowed to serve on the Editorial Board, but a majority of the board must be non-employees. . . .”
“The next person to lead the city’s long-running alt-weekly is one that loyal readers — and city residents who used to live in Charlotte — will recognize,” Thomas Wheatley reported Thursday for Atlanta’s Creative Loafing.
“Carlton Hargro, who oversaw CL’s culture coverage in the mid-2000s and led our former sister paper in the Queen City, will return to the publication as editor-in-chief. His first day is Jan. 17.”
Hargro is likely the only African American top editor of what are known as alternative newsweeklies and websites. Jason Zaragoza, interim executive director of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, told Journal-isms that he could think of only two others who had ever been top editors: W. Kim Heron, editor of Metro Times in Detroit from 2006 to 2012 and previously managing editor of the paper, and Adamma Ince, editor of Philadelphia Weekly from 2008 to 2012.
Wheatley also wrote, ” ‘Taking on the role of editor-in-chief at Creative Loafing is beyond a dream come true,’ Hargro says. ‘It’s an honor to grab the reins behind a slew of incredible editors — like the paper’s most recent EIC, Debbie Michaud. I’m dedicated to continuing that long legacy of great journalism, along with pushing CL deeper into digital and other platforms. Keep your eyes peeled for more details on all the great stuff we have planned.’
“The Ball State University graduate, who will become the first black editor-in-chief in CL’s history, has worked in various roles throughout his journalism career in Atlanta, which began in 1997 at the Atlanta Tribune. In 2004, he joined CL and oversaw the culture section, assigning and editing articles about the city’s arts scene. In addition, he created, produced, and hosted Audiofloss, CL’s urban music podcast.
“Two years later, he moved to Charlotte to lead that city’s edition of CL. . . .”
“President Barack Obama says he’s concerned about Republican commentators who appear to side with Russia over the US, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be trusted,” Kevin Liptak reported Friday for CNN.
” ‘What is true is that the Russians intended to meddle and they meddled,’ Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview that aired Friday. ‘One of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we’ve seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats.’ . . .”
Chris Ariens reported for TVNewser, “The sit-down will air Sunday on This Week as well as on Monday’s editions of Good Morning America, World News Tonight and Nightline. . . .”
Commentators from the left, such as Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept, have also questioned the intelligence agencies’ reports of Russian meddling. Greenwald recently wrote, “[I]n my 10-plus years of writing about politics on an endless number of polarizing issues — including the [Edward] Snowden reporting — nothing remotely compares to the smear campaign that has been launched as a result of the work I’ve done questioning and challenging claims about Russian hacking and the threat posed by that country generally,” the radio and television show “Democracy Now!” reported on Friday.
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, an ally of Greenwald, has denied that Russia was the source of the emails it published.
However, an extraordinary report released by the nation’s top intelligence agencies Friday concluded “with high confidence” that Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U., created a “persona” called Guccifer 2.0 and a website, DCLeaks.com, to release the emails of the Democratic National Committee and of the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, John D. Podesta, Michael D. Shear and David E. Sanger reported for the New York Times.
“When those disclosures received what was seen as insufficient attention, the report said, the G.R.U. ‘relayed material it acquired from the D.N.C. and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks.‘ . . .”
Meanwhile, “The Trump administration will respect the use of a protective press pool and will continue to allow the media to fly with the President on Air Force One, members of the incoming White House communications team told representatives of The White House Correspondents Association on Thursday,” Hadas Gold reported for Politico.
“The incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and incoming Communications Director Sean Spicer have indicated there will be changes to how the Trump White House interacts with the media, potentially altering the daily press briefing and which outlets sit where in the White House briefing room. But what those exact changes will be hasn’t been finalized yet. . . .”
- Charles M. Blow, New York Times: The Anti-Inauguration
- Jelani Cobb, New Yorker: Taking It to the Streets (podcast)
- Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker: Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and the Modern Whistle-Blower (Dec. 19)
- Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post Black Voices: The GOP War With The Federal Workforce Will Hurt Black Workers The Most
- Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Trumpism and White Tribalism Cannot Prevail
- Louis Nevaer, New America Media: In Havana, Fear the Trump-Putin ‘Bromance’ Will Lead to Invasion
- Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: The Way Forward (video)
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Why does Trump go googly-eyed for Putin?
- Paul Szoldra, businessinsider.com: Julian Assange’s claim about the source of DNC emails is disproved by WikiLeaks’ own website
“Jesse Watters, the troublemaking Bill O’Reilly sidekick best-known for his ambush interviews, is getting his own show on Fox News, the latest in what has been a week full of programming changes for the channel,” Tom Kludt reported Thursday for CNN Money.
“The hour-long program, dubbed ‘Watters World,’ will air weekly beginning this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. . . .”
Kludt also wrote, “Watters’ new show is an outgrowth of a recurring segment by the same name that has aired for years on ‘The O’Reilly Factor,’ the number one program on cable news.
“Those segments included man-on-the-street interviews designed to embarrass the people on camera; they also showcased Watters cornering unsuspecting liberals who had upset O’Reilly.
“Watters frequently attracted controversy in that role, including twice last fall.
“In October, Watters offered a tepid apology for a segment he filmed in Chinatown that contained a number of offensive Asian stereotypes. . . .”
“This was supposed to be the awards season when Hollywood, having been scorched by consecutive #OscarsSoWhite years, avoided tumult over race,” Brooks Barnes reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
“In heated conversations in Hollywood in recent weeks, prompted by articles on websites like The Daily Beast, Mic and ThinkProgress, producers, publicists, studio executives and other movie insiders have been grappling with whether there is a double standard at play — involving race, power or both — in the treatment of Nate Parker, a relatively unknown artist who has been sidelined as an Academy Award candidate, and Casey Affleck, the brother of moviedom royalty who is being feted as the leading contender for best actor.
“Mr. Parker, the force behind the slave-revolt film ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ faced intense scrutiny in August, including from The New York Times, when new details surfaced concerning a case in which he was accused — and later acquitted — of raping a fellow student while at Penn State nearly two decades ago.
“The media storm, made worse by several contentious interviews given by Mr. Parker, 37, resulted in a poor performance at the box office for his film and its shunning on the seasonal awards circuit. While heralded at festivals, the film received mixed reviews upon release.
“Mr. Affleck, 41, has not received similar scrutiny over two sexual harassment suits that were filed against him by two women in 2010 in civil court. At the time, a lawyer for Mr. Affleck, who plays a sorrowful New England handyman in the celebrated drama ‘Manchester by the Sea,’ denied the accusations as ‘desperate, fabricated claims’ and called them an ‘extortion tactic.’ Nothing was proved. Ultimately, he settled for undisclosed sums.
“Mr. Affleck’s performance has continued to rack up accolades, despite fresh attention on the 2010 lawsuits by the news media. (Asked about them by The Times for an article in November, he responded: ‘It was settled to the satisfaction of all. I was hurt and upset — I am sure all were — but I am over it.’) More than two dozen critics’ groups and festivals have named him best actor for his ‘Manchester by the Sea’ performance. He is up for a Golden Globe on Sunday and a Screen Actors Guild award on Jan. 29.
“Why do the two men find themselves in much different circumstances?
“Perhaps people think Mr. Affleck’s performance, and the movie in which he stars, is better. Maybe it’s because, as an Oscar nominee and the brother of the box-office star Ben Affleck, Mr. Affleck has attained a privileged status in Hollywood; the power surrounding him may make people reluctant to openly criticize him. Certainly a factor is the fact that there was unsettling new information revealed about Mr. Parker’s rape case in August — that his accuser later committed suicide — while there have been no new disclosures regarding Mr. Affleck’s cases.
“Or maybe, say those mindful of Hollywood’s checkered racial history, it is because Mr. Affleck is white and Mr. Parker is black. . . .”
- The declining fortunes of New Jersey’s newspapers “are part of a retrenchment in newspaper publishing across the country, but they have been acutely felt because of New Jersey newspapers’ role in holding powerful institutions and people accountable in a state that lacks a major independent television station,” David W. Chen reported Tuesday for the New York Times. “The timing also could not be worse, given all the news in the past year related to [Gov. Chris] Christie, terrorism, crumbling infrastructure and the sizable local presence of President-elect Donald J. Trump. . . .”
- Dave Harmon, chief people officer at Gannett Co. Inc., wrote to employees Tuesday, “It has come to my attention that some of you may have received an automated email from ExitSurvey@Gannett,” retired media blogger Jim Romenesko tweeted on Wednesday. “The email states you ‘will be leaving the company in the near future’ and also has an exit interview attached. Please disregard any emails ExitSurvey@Gannett and there is no need to respond. We are currently working to troubleshoot the issue and will have it resolvedCit as soon as possible.”
- New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper was in a motorcade for Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in Cameroon last April as a motorcade vehicle struck and killed six-year-old Toussaint Birwe, Cooper told Times readers on Thursday. Cooper said she stumbled when asked why she wrote about the incident. “This is what I should have said, but didn’t: We went back and wrote about Toussaint because The New York Times believes that African lives are as important as American ones. That the death of a little boy in northern Cameroon should count as much as the death of a little boy in Washington, D.C. . . .”
- “Another longtime Comcast SportsNet personality has been shown the exit,” Rob Tornoe wrote Friday for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Veteran broadcaster Ron Burke, who was part of the first CSN crew in 1997, is no longer with the network.” Tornoe also wrote, “Details of the separation aren’t immediately known. Burke took to Twitter late Thursday night to thank his fans and fellow CSN employees who have followed and supported him during his 18 years at the station. . . .”
- The Dallas Morning News editorial board Thursday published “3 things Dallasites can do in January for racial unity.” They can support Dallas Dinner Table, “an annual dinner series that brings together groups of 8 to 10 people of different races and ethnicities from all over North Texas”; attend “The 12th annual MLK Symposium” on Martin Luther King Day, with presentations from Columbia University journalism professor Jelani Cobb and social activist Alicia Garza, who co-created Black Lives Matter; and join “A Conversation on Race” presented by Democrats in the Dallas neighborhood of Preston Hollow on Jan. 12.
- Citing a family emergency, Lucio Villa, an interactive producer at the San Francisco Chronicle, has resigned as vice president/print of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, NAHJ President Brandon Benavides told members on Friday. He asked members to nominate a replacement by Jan. 20.
- The Times Media Co. in Northwest Indiana was named the 2016 Associated Press Managing Editors Innovator of the Year last year for a community-wide campaign promoting civility. The group Community Civility Counts, a partnership of the Times and the Gary Chamber of Commerce, is planning a second annual World Civility Day of events on April 13 in Merrillville and Hammond.
- “TV One’s NewsOne Now closed out 2016 with all quarters up year-over-year, resulting in a record-setting year for the African American targeted news show” among people 25-54, the network announced this week. “In 2016 NewsOne Now ranked as a Top 3 Cable news program in its time slot” among African Americans 25-54.
- Kimberly Griffin has been promoted to associate publisher of the Jackson (Miss.) Free Press. “Kimberly started for us nine years ago as a part-time distribution person, then started selling. When our first advertising director left, she took his place, and has been in that position for a number of years and a key manager,” Editor-in-Chief Donna Ladd told Journal-isms Friday by email.
- The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday that it “condemned the prison sentences handed down to two journalists from the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Khalid Mohamed and Darsema Sori were sentenced yesterday to prison terms of five years and six months and four years and five months respectively, the independent news website Addis Standard reported. Khalid, a news editor, and Darsema, a senior editor at Radio Bilal, were convicted at a December 21 hearing of inciting extremist ideology and planning to overthrow the government through their coverage of Muslim protests about government interference in religious affairs, according to reports. . . .”
- The Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday that it “called on Gambian authorities to allow three independent radio stations to resume full broadcasting. Taranga FM, Hilltop Radio, and Afri Radio stopped broadcasting on January 1 on the orders of national security agents, who did not give any explanation for the measure, according to news reports. . . .”
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- Book Notes: 16 Writers Dish About ‘Chelle,’ the First Lady
- Book Notes: From Coretta to Barack, and in Search of the Godfather
- Journal-isms’ Richard Prince Wants Your Ideas (FishbowlDC, Feb. 26, 2016)
- “JOURNAL-ISMS” IS LATEST TO BEAR BRUNT OF INDUSTRY’S ECONOMIC WOES (Feb. 19, 2016)
- Richard Prince with Charlayne Hunter-Gault,“PBS NewsHour,” “What stagnant diversity means for America’s newsrooms” (Dec. 15, 2015)
- Book Notes: Journalists Follow Their Passions
- Book Notes: Journalists Who Rocked Their World
- Book Notes: Hands Up! Read This!
- Book Notes: New Cosby Bio Looks Like a Best-Seller
- Journo-diversity advocate turns attention to Ezra Klein project (Erik Wemple, Washington Post, March 5, 2014)
- Book Notes: “Love, Peace and Soul!” And More
- Book Notes: Book Notes: Soothing the Senses, Shocking the Conscience
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2015
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2014
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2013
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2012
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2011
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2010
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2009
- Diversity’s Greatest Hits, 2008
- Book Notes: Books to Ring In the New Year
- Book Notes: In-Your-Face Holiday Reads
- Fishbowl Interview With the Fresh Prince of D.C. (Oct. 26, 2012)
- NABJ to Honor Columnist Richard Prince With Ida B. Wells Award (Oct. 11, 2012)
- So What Do You Do, Richard Prince, Columnist for the Maynard Institute? (Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA, Aug. 22, 2012)
- Book Notes: Who Am I? What’s Race Got to Do With It?: Journalists Explore Identity
- Book Notes: Catching Up With Books for the Fall
- Richard Prince Helps Journalists Set High Bar (Jackie Jones,BlackAmericaWeb.com, 2011)
- Book Notes: 10 Ways to Turn Pages This Summer
- Book Notes: 7 for Serious Spring Reading
- Book Notes: 7 Candidates for the Journalist’s Library
- Book Notes: 9 That Add Heft to the Bookshelf
- Five Minutes With Richard Prince (Newspaper Association of America, 2005)
- ‘Journal-isms’ That Engage and Inform Diverse Audiences (Q&A with Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter Institute, 2008)